The idea of a car as the star in a non-car movie was largely based upon a chick flick called ‘Love Happens’.
This is essentially another romance movie for America’s newest sweetheart; Jennifer Anniston.
Jennifer is the replacement for Meg Ryan, the deposed America’s sweetheart from the 90s.
‘Love Happens‘ is a brutal movie from a guy’s point of view. The only shred of optimism is the possibility that Jennifer might show a little more of Jennifer in the movie.
Nudity didn’t happen, so guys were reduced to the only other highlight in the movie: Jennifer drove a mid-60s Ford Econoline window van in the movie.
Now one can only assume that the van was part of the Hollywood routine where the right girl is a little kooky. Thus a rare van from the 60s would be her natural mode of transportation.
The van was a scene-stealer for those of us who saw little merit in the movie. The concept of a best supporting actor award could also be applied to some famous and better movies.
One movie that springs to mind is ‘Rainman’. The movie was a huge success in 1988 and was an Academy Award winner for Best Picture and Best Actor (Dustin Hoffman). It also starred Tom Cruise during his pre-Oprah years before he blew up his career on her couch.
But it also starred a 1949 Buick Roadmaster convertible that stole the show. A 1949 Buick Roadmaster convertible is a very rare car. The fact that it was the mode of transportation for the Cruise and Hoffman characters meant that it was central to many scenes in the movie. And it carried every scene for car guys.
A lot of people have seen ‘Animal House’ and maybe ill-advisedly applied some of the party techniques to their parties during that impressionable phase of their youth. The movie is durably funny, even several decades after its release.
But one character in the movie had four wheels and provided the foundation for some very funny moments. It was a 1964 Lincoln Continental, and it was a pampered property of Flounder’s brother.
The Lincoln became central to a crazed road trip that destroyed the car, but sacrificed it for some of the funniest moments in the movie. Most car guys would like to see movies where no harm is done to old rides, but that Lincoln died an honorable death in the line of funny duty for ‘Animal House’.
Lastly, Woody Allen saw the merit of cars in movies. He had an attachment to Volkswagen Beetles and used them as props in many movies (‘Annie Hall’ and ‘Sleeper’ come to mind) from his funny days in the 70s.
Maybe the lack of Beetles in his later movies killed the funny side of his creativity.
Jim Sutherland @mystarcollectorcar.com